Blog

View posts by country or region

** FT News **

* Isis claims to behead captive US journalist | White House said the intelligence community was trying to determine the authenticity of a video showing James Foley

* Rockets prompt Israel to end Gaza talks | Israel blames Hamas for breaking the fragile truce and resumes its bombing campaign, temporarily ending the indirect talks sponsored by Egypt Continue reading »

Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, the world’s biggest marketing services company, is bullish about India, suggesting the market is set for strong growth and that local companies should focus on tapping this vast market before expanding abroad.

Sorrell considers what he would do right now if he were an ‘Indian oligarch’. Some groups have succeeded in expanding globally, be it organically or inorganically, but that strategy comes with its own challenges.

“India is a massive market – it’s a 1.2bn person market, it has benefited from the rise of the middle-class,” he says. “I would milk the opportunities here until I have exhausted them before moving abroad.” Continue reading »

The number of middle class households in 11 key sub-Saharan African countries – excluding South Africa – are set to triple to 22m by 2030, creating a burgeoning consumer market for items such as vehicles, insurance policies, property and health products, according to a Standard Bank research report.

Simon Freemantle, senior political economist at Standard Bank and author of the report, said the prospective boom in middle class households – those earning between US$8,500 and US$42,000 a year – is also likely to be complemented by a swelling in the number of lower middle class households that earn between US$5,500 and US$8,500 annually. Continue reading »

By Jonathan Fenby, Trusted Sources

There’s nothing like an acronym or a catchy label when it comes to emerging markets. The master alchemist, Jim O’Neill, set the pace with the formulation 13 years ago of the four-nation BRICs (with or without a final capital S for South Africa). Fidelity followed that with the MINT collection of Mexico, Indonesia Nigeria and Turkey constituting MINT).

Then Morgan Stanley chipped in with Fragile Five, which – such are the vagaries of nomenclature – includes five members of the previous two aggregations.

Now, a new and potentially more durable grouping is emerging – even if it does not lead itself to an acronym that trips off the tongue. The best I can come up with is CIMI – or, if you twist it to give Mexico rather than China first place, the marginally more memorable MICI, though that would invite too many columnists to compare them to Disney’s mouse. Continue reading »

Sign up for the beyondbrics email headlines service: our London and New York morning espressos, featuring the top FT emerging markets stories and opinion, plus the best reads from beyondbrics and around the web and the latest market prices.

It's free - so sign up here.

It sounds like a case of selling coals to Newcastle, but UK drink mixer company Fever-Tree plans to start exporting its premium Indian Tonic water to India, where the substance was first concocted about 200 years ago to stave off malaria among British troops in the Raj.

The move is the latest sign of India’s emergence as a big market for luxury consumer goods in spite of a slowdown that has cut overall economic growth to less than 5 per cent annually for the past two years.

Tim Warrillow, who co-founded the company in 2005, is to announce that India will become Fever-Tree’s 50th export market at an event in New Delhi next week with Nick Clegg, UK deputy prime minister. Continue reading »

By John Zhu, HSBC

China has been a favoured destination for foreign direct investment since its economy opened up more than three decades ago. However, the country’s own investments abroad will soon overtake inflows. This is good for China and the rest of the world: China stands to make better returns on its foreign reserves while generating demand for its exports, while countries in need of investment can tap into a new and fast-growing source of funding.

How China exports its excess savings abroad will be a major theme driving flows into different countries and sectors. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Kurds retake Mosul dam from Isis | US launches most intensive day of air strikes, since intervening in conflict 10 days ago, to pave way for peshmerga victory

* Egg producer to challenge Crimea asset grab | London-listed company plans court action after Crimean leaders revealed plans for a forced buyout of Avangardco’s local egg production factory Continue reading »

If anyone had any doubts about the political significance of the tragic plane crash that killed presidential candidate Eduardo Campos last week, they only need to see the results of Monday’s Datafolha poll.

Marina Silva, who is set to take over as candidate for the Brazilian Socialist party (PSB), attracted over twice as much support as Mr Campos did before he died and now stands a real chance of winning October’s elections. Continue reading »

An eccentric Indian tycoon, some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and now the Sultan of Brunei. The story of one Indian company’s tortuous journey out of legal hot water has just taken another twist.

The Sultan of Brunei has emerged as the lead bidder for the Grosvenor House Hotel and other luxury properties that India’s beleaguered Sahara group has been trying to sell off in a desperate attempt to get its ‘managing worker’ out of jail. Continue reading »

Since the early days of its software industry in the 1980s, nearly all of India’s large IT companies have earned their crust selling software to companies in America, who have tended to be more open to outsourcing than competitors in Europe and Asia.

But for how much longer? Not that long in the case of Tata Consultancy Services at least, the country’s largest IT group by sales, which soon looks set to earn more than half of its revenues outside the US for the first time, according to chief executive Natarajan Chandrasekaran. Continue reading »

It may never rival porcelain or Peking duck in popularity beyond China’s shores, but the “facekini” is being hailed by domestic newspapers as the country’s latest cultural gift to the world.

The recent publication by a New York-based style magazine, CR Fashion Book, of a photo shoot showing models wearing “pool masks” has prompted the Qingdao Evening News to claim the look as a foreign variation on a familiar theme in the north eastern seaside city.

“As soon as this photo shoot was published, the sharp-eyed among our netizens immediately recognised that this was none other than a ‘knock off’ of our Qingdao old woman’s ‘facekini’,” the newspaper saidContinue reading »

By Dan Gallucci

The economic modernisation of Myanmar continues at a rapid clip. In the critical sectors of telecommunications and banking, a combination of government and private sector efforts have set the foundation for the country’s next stage of growth. Nevertheless, significant challenges lie ahead.

Earlier this month Qatari telecom Ooredoo (ORDS:DSM), launched mobile phone and 3G internet services in greater Yangon, Mandalay and Naypyidaw. According to the company, the initial networks reach 7.8m people, about 15 per cent of the population. Norway’s Telenor (TEL:OSL) will open similar coverage in September. Continue reading »

By Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the real engine of growth. In developed markets they form the backbone of industry, driving innovation and employing millions. The UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, for example, reported that there were 4.9m private businesses at the start of 2013, employing 24.3m people. All mature markets depend on small businesses to create jobs and drive innovation.

Emerging markets must follow suit if they are to stimulate enterprise and build a robust economy. This is why countries such as Angola need to ensure that the banking sector is not only liberalised and competitive but also prepared to create wider access to capital for SMEs. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Kurdish forces encircle Mosul dam | US forces bomb area three to four times a day earlier in preparation for the Kurdish offensive on the dam, which is seen as an important target

* Ukraine claims breakthrough in east | Kiev says troops have advanced into Lugansk as talks resume and diplomatic efforts to prevent escalation of the conflict quickened Continue reading »

The bust-up between Argentina and its holdout creditors is getting uglier by the day. As the “vulture funds” do their best to prove that there is corruption at the highest levels of government, President Cristina Fernandez responded yesterday by accusing them of engaging in terrorism.

The increasingly dirty fight comes as the holdouts disdainfully reject the possibility that a deal with the private sector might materialise, so rescuing Argentina from its default situation. Aurelius Capital Management said on Wednesday that none of the offers presented by a group of Wall Street banks were even “remotely acceptable.” Continue reading »